Our View

From the Conference

Senate Snapshot

Feb 28 2012

Weekly Outlook:   

This week is the first week of a five-week work period.   The Senate convened at 2:00 p.m. today, and at 5:30 p.m., the Senate will vote on the confirmation of Margo Kitsy Brodie, of New York, to be United States district judge for the Eastern District of New York.

The Senate will spend the majority of the week considering S. 1813, the two-year surface transportation bill.  Prior to last week's recess, the Senate defeated cloture on Reid amendment #1633, which contained the titles from the Banking, Finance, and Commerce Committees.  After cloture was not invoked, Senator Reid withdrew amendment #1633 and offered amendment #1730, which contains the same Banking and Finance titles and the agreed upon replacement language for the Commerce title.  The bill managers are still assembling an amendment list to the transportation bill, and it is expected that several energy amendments will be offered.  It is anticipated that consideration of the surface transportation bill will last most of this week and possibly into next week as well.

Items that the Senate may consider during this work period include postal reform, cybersecurity, and the STOCK Act.  Prior to last week's recess, the House amended the STOCK Act and sent it back to the Senate.  It is uncertain whether Senator Reid will bring up the House bill or will appoint conferees. 

What's Being Said – Senate Republican Conference & Senate Republican Communications Center:

  • 'Lower Priority' After More Than Two Years Of Rhetoric, President Obama Hands Off His Corporate Tax Framework As A 'Lower Priority'
  • Gas Price Goals? President Obama's Energy Secretary Wants 'To Figure Out How To Boost The Price Of Gasoline To The Levels In Europe'
  • Stimulus: 3 Years Later President Obama's Stimulus Package Has Not Delivered The Jobs His White House Claimed It Would

SRC Video Clips:

Featuring Senators Barrasso, Portman, Sessions, Corker, Vitter, Cornyn

Featuring Senators Ayotte, Lee, Enzi, Heller, Alexander, Toomey, Barrasso, Hatch, Murkowski, Kyl, Thune, Roberts, Burr, Hutchison

Featuring Senators Johanns, Ayotte, Rubio, Coats, Hoeven, Boozman, Cornyn, McConnell, Blunt

SRC Policy Note: Gasoline Prices Double on President Obama's Watch

Gasoline prices have officially doubled on President Obama's watch from $1.85/gal in January 2009 to $3.70/gal today.  Some analysts are predicting $5/gal gasoline by May.  This dramatic increase in gasoline prices is hurting families and small businesses who are still dealing with a historically slow economic recovery.  Unfortunately, President Obama is making it worse by restricting access to reliable energy sources. 

President Obama has taken several actions to restrict access to energy sources and increase the cost of energy production:

  • President Obama rejected the Keystone XL pipeline, which would have created 20,000 jobs and delivered up to 830,000 barrels of oil per day from Canada, America's largest trading partner. 
  • President Obama has also reduced the number of new offshore leases by half over the next five years and has reinstated a moratorium on 97 percent of offshore areas. 
  • Under the Obama administration, new permits to drill in federal onshore and offshore areas have declined by 40 to 50 percent. 

  • The Obama administration is also implementing a national backdoor energy tax through the unprecedented regulation of greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act. 
  • Additionally, the administration is specifically targeting the oil and gas industry with new regulations such as Tier 3 gasoline standards that could drive up the cost of gasoline production by up to $.25/gal.

President Obama says that he supports an "all of the above" energy plan, but his policies discourage increased energy production.  Senate Republicans support a real "all of the above" energy plan that increases production of all sources of energy and promotes projects like Keystone XL pipeline that will strengthen North American energy security.

Republican Efforts to Strengthen the Economy:

  • 43 Republicans Submit Amicus Brief On Behalf Of The Supreme Court Challenge Filed By States And Small Businesses (Read more)
  • Senator Thune POLITICO Op-Ed: Obama Policies Threaten America's Energy Boom (Read more)
  • Senator Toomey Tackles Government Regulations (Read more)
  • Senators Murkowski and Scott Brown Co-Sponsor Bipartisan Bill to Boost Housing Market (Read more)
  • Senator Portman, 19 Senators Support Ambitious Trade Agenda with Europe – Ask President Obama to Remove Transatlantic Commerce, Investment Barriers (Read more)
  • Senator Coats Op-Ed: Simple is best prescription for tax reform (Read more)

 February 27, 2012